What if my Co-parent is Violating our Child Custody Agreement?
For unmarried parents or co-parents going through a divorce, issues surrounding child custody are often the top priority. Many co-parents take huge amounts of effort to reach amicable, fair, and ultimately beneficial child custody agreements to provide for their children. Unfortunately, these agreements are only as good as their ability to be enforced. When a parent or guardian violates the terms of your child custody agreement, what can you do?
Today, our child custody agreement enforcement attorney will identify common violations of child custody agreements and discuss the options available to NJ families.
Westfield, NJ Child Custody Enforcement Lawyer Identifies Violations of Custody Agreements
Before taking any formal action, your Westfield child custody enforcement lawyer will need to understand the exact nature of the agreement violation(s) taking place. No two situations are exactly alike, and legal actions should reflect that fact. Some common violations which take place within child custody agreements include:
- Failure to adhere to the agreed upon parenting schedule. Physical custody agreements generally will lay out which nights of the week children stay with each parent and additional parenting time. However, violating the specifics of an agreed upon schedule (i.e. dropping the kids off at 3 p.m. instead of noon) may be considered a violation of your agreement
- Parental alienation. The concept of parental alienation is considered a form of child abuse, and can include a co-parent intentionally or unintentionally making a child harbor ill will towards another co-parent of family member
- Violating joint legal custody agreements. Legal child custody refers to the right of a parent to be involved in major decisions within the child’s life. If a parent neglects to include a parent with legal custody, that can be considered a violation
- Much more. Remember that any actions which go against the language of your agreement should be taken seriously
If a Co-Parent Violates a Child Custody Agreement, What are my Options in Union County?
Most child custody agreement violations are minor in nature, but should still be taken seriously. However, if a co-parent or other individual is violating your agreement in such a way that could potentially endanger your child, you should call 9-1-1 immediately. It is important to understand that this action will likely put an end to any amicable co-parenting relationship, but the safety of your child should always come first. If you have legitimate reason to believe something might be wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry.
With that being said, the vast majority of child custody agreement breaches can be handled reasonably. There are a number of options available to co-parents, including filing a motion for contempt. “Contempt” essentially means that an individual has violated a court order, which in this case would refer to your child custody agreement.
It is often recommended that before taking formal legal action, you reach out directly to your co-parent and/or his or her lawyer to express your concerns. It is possible they did not fully understand how their actions were being perceived or may have not realized they were in the wrong to begin with. In any case, by working with a qualified child custody attorney, you can explore the options available to you and your family to iron out the dispute in a mutually beneficial manner.
Contact a Linden Co-Parents’ Rights Lawyer Attorney Today
At The Law Offices of Edward S. Cooper, Esq. our child custody legal team has extensive experience serving clients from Union County, Westfield, Linden, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, Plainfield, Union, and across Northern New Jersey. We understand that it can be incredibly frustrating to have a legal agreement ignored by a co-parent. Attorney Cooper will work closely with you and your family to find the right legal solution to fit your individual needs. Whether you are able to resolve your disputes outside of court or require litigation, we will protect your legal rights from start to finish.